Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs unexpectedly and it can affect anyone, regardless of age or race. 

According to statistics from the Lupus Foundation of America, 9 out of 10 women struggle with this disease.

One patient, Mallory Dixon, 29, narrated her experience with Lupus to Medical Daily. According to her,

“It’s a disability that you cannot describe because the whole thing about lupus is it’s so unpredictable.”

This disease has a vast range of symptoms that may vary in severity and could change in the course of life. 

For Dixon, the doctors initially diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis when she was just 17, but the symptoms continued for years after.

She stated,

“One of my doctors told my parent I might need to see a therapist.”

6 years after the initial diagnosis, one doctor examined her comprehensively and identified lupus. 

She felt that something was awfully wrong for years before, and she decided to consult a doctor. She explained:

“The night before, I was afraid to go to sleep. I tried to downplay the pain, but I had the feeling I was dying.”

Her condition worsened on her way to hospital. Consequently, she was hospitalized for 86 days, with a series of treatments: 

she fell into a coma, received chemotherapy, was treated with dialysis, and spend some time on the ventilator.

Afterwards, the lupus was found to have moved into the kidneys, causing the symptoms and pain. Dixon stated,

“They do think with early prevention we can keep lupus from spreading to organs like the kidneys or in some cases, a patient’s heart or brain.”  

Therefore, she thinks that the essential thing is to “educate young women about what to look for.”

Therefore, it is imperative that you understand the symptoms of lupus.

According a national nurse health educator working with the Lupus Foundation of America,  Sarah Stothers, RN, here are the most common signs of Lupus:

Debilitating fatigue




Sun- or light-sensitivity

Abnormal blood clotting

Nose or mouth ulcers

Extreme tiredness

Pain in chest when breathing deeply

Painful or swollen joints

Swelling around the hands, eyes, legs, feet

Fingers turning white or blue when cold

Hair loss

A butterfly shaped rash, spread across the cheeks and nose
Stothers explains:

“Some people look completely normal yet they feel awful. 

Doing the smallest task is impossible, because you look so normal on the outside, and that’s probably the biggest thing: 

‘But you look completely fine!’”

This autoimmune disease share symptoms with several other diseases, like thyroid complications, Lyme disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, etc. 

As such, many experts believe that it’s linked to autoimmune and hormonal disorders.

Moreover, Dixons clarified:

“Lupus does not run in my family. 

The only thing that does run in my family is psoriasis, which is another autoimmune disorder.”

Actually, many individuals diagnoses with lupus have been diagnosed with another autoimmune disorder in their lifetime.

Hence, you need to be careful about the symptoms of lupus if some of these diseases run in your family, or if you’re already diagnosed with any of these autoimmune diseases. 

That way, you can avoid lots of complications later in life.

Here are the most common autoimmune diseases that people suffer from:


type 1 diabetes

Hashimoto’s disease



rheumatoid arthritis

inflammatory bowel diseases

reactive arthritis

Graves’ disease

Sj√∂gren’s syndrome

celiac disease

pernicious anemia

Addison’s disease.

For all these ailments, your body tissues are mistakenly attacked by the immune system, like they were foreign invaders, germs, or viruses.

Causes of lupus

Stothers stated,

“We know there’s a genetic component to lupus.”

She added, however, that it doesn’t mean that one will suffer from lupus, but the environment and the hormones are other two vital factors. 

Scientists point out that estrogen is involved in the development of lupus, given the high incidence in the case of women.

She also added,

“It is predominately diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 44, and that’s the time when women are most fertile. 

In fact, many women are first diagnosed while pregnant or after giving birth, when their hormones are in flux. “

Yet, she has also witnessed lupus in people in their 70s and 80s.


Stothers says,

“Lupus patients often live long, productive, and happy lives.”

Nonetheless, patients need to monitor the symptoms, so as to control the condition and uphold their health.

According to Dixon, patients experience mild to severe flare-ups:

“That’s the hard thing with lupus, the unknown of when you’re going to have a really bad flare-up. Everyone has to figure out her own triggers.”

She admitted that stress, common cold, and the hard work, were the triggers of her condition.

Stothers commends the patients for being very brave and strong people:

“Somehow they make it work. People with lupus are probably the most courageous people I’ve ever met and the most in tune with their bodies. 

I am very much privileged to know them.”

Dixon also attributes her recovery to limitless support from her loved ones, but she said that the biggest strength has to come from the patient himself:

“At the end of the day, you’re going to be the one to get yourself out of bed.”

What's popular Now